MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? On Monday, Aug. 4, at 7:30 p.m., young virtuoso Helena Baillie returns to the Mahaney Center for the Arts at Middlebury College with Janice Weber, accompanist for the Boston Philharmonic, to perform works by Vitale, Prokofiev, Milstein, Mozart, Bolcom, and Paganini. The concert, which is free and open to the public, is part of a six-stop tour across the north country for the duo, including appearances at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Plattsburgh.
Baillie has strong ties to the Vermont and northern New York area, with many friends and supporters in the region. She has performed on the college’s concert hall stage before, as part of the Brainerd “Rising Stars” Series in March 2004. She is also an alumna of Middlebury College’s French School, one of the college’s summer Language Schools, where she gave concert appearances alongside fellow music luminary Hillary Hahn.
Born in London, Baillie graduated from The Curtis Institute of Music. Her 2008 New York violin recital debut at Bargemusic was hailed by The Strad magazine for its “brilliance and poignance.”
She has appeared in chamber music with Pinchas Zukerman, and with the Beaux Arts Trio at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt. In addition, Baillie has performed at Carnegie Hall in the Alexander Schneider Series and given recitals at Arizona Friends of Chamber Music and at Boston Symphony’s Higginson Hall. Her performances were broadcast on “Performance Today” for American Public Radio.
She has studied with the first violinists of the Guarneri, Emerson, Vermeer, Juilliard and Tokyo quartets, including Arnold Steinhardt, Philip Setzer, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Robert Mann and Peter Oundjian respectively. She studied viola at Curtis with Roberto Diaz and Joseph de Pasquale, and with Wilfried Strehle, principal viola of the Berlin Philharmonic. Isaac Stern, Lorand Fenyves, Felix Galimir, and Leon Fleisher guided Baillie in chamber music. She has received numerous awards, including the Barenreiter-urtext prize at the 2004 Munich ARD competition, as well as prizes at the 2001 Banff and 2003 Tertis competitions. Dennis Rooney of The Strad Magazine remarked, “Baillie’s combination of brilliance and poignance as well as a telling lower register made her an effective exponent of all of them.”
Baillie will be accompanied for this concert appearance by an acclaimed musician in her own right, Janice Weber. Weber’s New York recital debut, performed under the pseudonym Lily von Ballmoos, was an early indication of the eclecticism and fluency for which she has become known. A summa cum laude graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Weber has performed at the White House, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, National Gallery of Art, and Boston’s Symphony Hall. She has appeared with the Boston Pops, Chautauqua Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Hilton Head Orchestra, Sarajevo Philharmonic, and Syracuse Symphony in concertos of Hanson, Sowerby, Stenhammar, Bernstein, and Leroy Anderson as well as the standard repertoire. She has performed at the Bard, Newport, La Gesse, Husum, and Monadnock summer festivals and has twice toured China under the auspices of the American Liszt Society.
Her interest in the uncommon avenues of the piano literature led to a world premiere recording of Liszt’s 1838 Transcendental Etudes. Weber recorded Liszt’s last Hungarian Rhapsody, one of only two living pianists to be included in a compendium of historic performances by 19 legendary artists. This disc subsequently won the International Liszt Prize. She is a member of the piano faculty at Boston Conservatory, and teaches at Brandeis University. In addition to her music career, Miss Weber is also an accomplished author, with six novels to her credit, including her latest, “School of Fortune.”
The concert at Middlebury is sponsored by the office of the President, the Mahaney Center for the Arts, and an anonymous donor. Admission is free. For more information about the artists, please visit their Web sites: http://www.helenabaillie.com, and http://www.janiceweber.com. For further information, contact the Mahaney Center for the Arts at 802-443-3168 or www.middlebury.edu/arts.